New Gear/New Toys Review: Universal Audio Apollo Twin Mk II

The Apollo Twin Mk II is Universal Audio's latest and complete redesign of their popular desktop audio interface. It has two mic/instrument inputs and six, analog outputs. It connects to Mac or PC computers using a single Thunderbolt cable/connection and expands its monitoring feature set with mute, dim, mono, and alternate speaker switching functions. These "must-have" professional studio controls are augmented with monitor remote functionality and a built-in talkback microphone and button.

Connecting an external analog-to-digital converter to the rear panel's optical TOS/LINK connector allows for up to eight additional input channels of recording for microphone pre-amp outputs or line level sources from synths or FOH live sound signals.

The new Universal Audio Apollo Twin Mk II comes equipped with your choice of three different levels of UAD-2 processing via different SHARC DSP chip set configurations. There are the SOLO, DUO, or the new QUAD (four SHARC chips) models. Also debuting are the completely redesigned analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converter sections using the latest generation, 24-bit/192kHz technologies. You'll have increased dynamic range and ultra-low noise for worry-free recording/mixing for the complete and proper focus on your music and sound.

As in previous Apollo Twin models, the new Mk II features Unison™ microphone pre-amp technology that mimics the impedance and gain staging of analog gear. Also included is Realtime UAD Processing making it possible to use the UAD family of plug-in processors in real-time for the input recording path. You can use the unit's dual mic preamps and/or its front-panel DI jack to record through virtual solid-state preamps, guitar amps, and stomp boxes all with near-zero latency.

The Apollo Twin Mk II comes with Universal Audio's Realtime Analog Classics UAD plug-in bundle with legacy editions of the LA-2A Classic Audio Leveler, 1176LN Limiting Amplifier, and Pultec EQP-1A Program Equalizer. With 14 plug-ins total included, you also get UA's 610-B Tube Preamp & EQ plug-in plus Softube's Marshall Plexi Classic bundle.

As always, the Twin runs any of the UAD Powered plug-ins via VST, AU, RTAS, & AAX64 in host DAWs regardless of your audio software's buffer size and without taxing your computer's CPU.

Apollo Twin Mk II sells (MAP) for $699 (SOLO), $899 (DUO), and $1,299 (QUAD).


Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com